346B.115 Standard Oil Co./21

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

Mr. James A. Moffett, of the Standard Oil Company California, called on Mr. Welles46 this morning to discuss the situation resulting from the attack by Italian bombing planes on October 18 on properties of the Standard Oil Company of California both in Bahrein as well as in El Hasa, on the mainland of Arabia.

Mr. Moffett had with him the attached telegrams47 received from the company’s representative in Arabia stating definitely that both Arabia and Bahrein were attacked, but that damage was done only on the Arabian side.

Mr. Moffett said he realized that, owing to the status of Bahrein as a British-protected state, this Government could not make any protest as a result of the attack at that place. The situation was, however, [Page 722]entirely different in regard to the attack on the company’s properties in Arabia proper and he very much hoped that we would find it possible to make vigorous protest to the Italian Government in order that there should be no repetition of this attack.

Mr. Welles stated that if the information received from the company’s representative in Arabia could be definitely depended upon the Department would of course be prepared to take action. It would be desirable, however, for Mr. Moffett to endeavor to obtain further details regarding the attack, and he requested Mr. Moffett to take the necessary steps in that direction. Mr. Welles promised, however, that the Department would in any case act this afternoon in the event that further information had not been received by the company from Arabia.

  1. Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State.
  2. Not printed.